Forum Spam: Apology and Fixes

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  • Beware Of The Fish wrote (see)

    Stick a 'report as spam' button on each post/thread, then if enough people click it within a certain timescale the system automatically puts the thread into invisible limbo until such time as an official Mod can look at it and either delete or reinstate.

    The main issue with forum moderation by users is that it needs to be consistant, and it needs committed people who know and care about the forum and who are prepared to give it their time. They also need to be able to step back and be impartial when decisions need to be made, and that's a difficult task sometimes. And it needs Users to understand that a forum is not a democracy but a benevolent dictatorship. If you want to start flame wars or absue people go start your own forum and do it on your own Dollar. Personally I think RW missed the boat a few years ago by seemingly writing bespoke forum software rather than incorporating commercial forum software into their website. Buying a commercial product potentially used by thousands of other sites means that you've got a manufacturer (and those thousands of users) constantly working on it to protect it and upgrade it, and even if you have to pay a licencing fee it's still going to be cheaper than having to employ your own people to reinvent the wheel. The forum really should be a pretty small spend in relation to the cost of the site in general.

    BOTF - RW do outsource their site. The people RW used to refer to as the tech team aka previously Magicalia now Immediate Media are here. Have a look at some of their other sites. You'll recognise the template.

    Also, I wanted to add another comment about the forumite mods.  Surely the forumites game enough to do this at least deserves the benefit of the doubt before being accused of being on a massive power trip and out to cause problems.

     

     

  • Sorry...  are we getting two totally different and unrelated conversations about user mods mixed up here..?

    I am NOT talking about user having moderatorm powers over general threads and discussions and intervening...

    I AM talking about being easily and quickly able to stop and delete the deluge of obvious spam threads that happen, and frequently happen on a Friday evening..

    How can anyone possibly object to the simplicity of that...?

     

  • DV - That is exactly what RW appear to be  suggesting but for some reason people have jumped to massive conclusions. This may be in part because of what happened on the US site but geez, would it be so bad to try it?

  • I think the problem is that stopping a deluge of spam would have to be a software fix. No mod could have kept up with the rate of spam threads over the weekend.

    But a user mod could, for example, weed out spam posts (as opposed to entire threads) that gets through, delete jerks who are being abusive, get rid of the one-post "hey look at my blog" wonders, and do basic patrolling out of office hours.

    That would require discretion, which would inevitably lead to charges of power tripping. I still it's worth trying.

  • BDB, might as well utilise the sheer hours spent on this site by high post forumites, into keeping it clean, it's the perfect solution!

  • Also, surely if there are a couple of mods who can provide feedback to RW about issues or suggestions ie adding a fecking comment to the avatar upload box so people know the image needs to be approved, it's got to be worth a shot??

     

     

  • I can't see any problem with trying it.

     

  • I wouldn't have a problem with a user mod if its about spam. Agree its worth a try and if it causes problems them revert back. I woudn't need to know who the spam mods are so can't see the power trip thing being an issue for me. In any case I gain a lot from this forum, as I'm sure many others do, for nil cost as has been pointed out before.  Is it too much to ask that we help out a bit? 

  • I forgot to ask if I'm successful in becoming a moderator Do I get a gun ? If a gun is too much can I have a Taser 50,000 volts should do.

    I would also like the power to appoint my own deputies and print my own wanted posters.

    Hope these requests can be granted.

    Yours faithfully

    Slowfoot Esq. (moderator in waiting)

  • I think there are enough non power hungry posters on this site that could do the job quietly and efficiently............

    to compare brits in general with americans is a bit off....the general nature of the people in both countries is quite different in my opinion......

    just cause somthing doesn't work in america is not a reason not to try it here............

    who on earth woyuld get power hungry on removing spam posts.........I can't imagine anyone....seems a bit bizarre to me

  • Seren,

    Can you define what a spam post is?



    Would you call the threads telling people that aldi are having their running/cycling sale are spam? These seem appreciated by most people. What's the difference to a new poster telling me where i can get cheap gucci shoes?



    Defining what is spam and what is a normal post is subjective. If you can define the rules so clearly that the software will only allow the mods to delete spam then you might as well let the software do it automatically



    If you allow humans to start making those decisions then you have to accept their prejedices will have an impact. Let's be honest, a lot of replies on this site are based on who said it rather than what they said.
  • Of course detecting spam is subjective, and we all seemed to able to do it last weekend or this debate wouldn't be happening. The technological solution would best be applied at the account creation stage rather than at the posting stage, but it seems that technology is not available.

    Until it is available there's little to be gained by not trying other work-arounds. There are people willing and able to remove spam posts manually - give it a go.

  • I think having forum mods to remove the occasional Gucci shoes spam is fine. However, the last few days have been a substantial attack and need more automated solutions.
  • My point is the functionality to remove a post/thread is the same regardless of what the content is.  And that is where abuse/mis-use can happen.  People on this thread are already talking about removing spam & the odd nutter/blog poster.  This is day one and the scope of the the role is already creeping.  How long before it creeps further? 

    I'm very opposed to this as I'm sure you can gather.  The spam is choking the site so that needs tackling at source.  The IT company supporting the site need to fix that.  If the odd one makes it through, I think we can live with that over a weekend so there should be no need for user mods.

    There maybe a role for collective moderation in the future, but that would be separate functionality and would need to be built.

  • i think its easy to leave the posts about aldis or someone promoting their own race to the official mods.......

    surely what Dom must be referring to is the multple posts of the same thing............to me this is fairly obvious...........it stands out a blinking mile...........and is the stuff that is annoying us all..............If its not obvious to others then i am suprised to say the least

    if it gets cleared straight away then there will be less chance of them aiming for the site.........

    I just can't see the objection to trying this for a while.......Yes it might not work if they use an idiot to do it......but there are a number of posters on these forums that i have total respect for and i'm sure if any of those are willing to give up their time and give it a go then i would behind them totally.......

    yes it is better to be tackled at source but its obvious they are struggling so why not try this as a bandaid in the meantime before the forums get deluged in it....

  • anyone of the RW team could be on the forums under a different name............and noone cares two hoots........

    not sure if its a power thing. or a hierarchy thing.............people making such a big thing .......

    to me its similar to having everyones dna on a datebase.............if you aren't breaking a law whats your worry..........

    unless you are secretly working as a spammer as a side job.whats the worry..........

  • Only if I can do it in gucci shoes...........

    speaking of spammers...they musty have been scared off.there is a distict lack of them this morning

  • Badly Drawn Bloke wrote (see)

    My point is the functionality to remove a post/thread is the same regardless of what the content is.  And that is where abuse/mis-use can happen.  People on this thread are already talking about removing spam & the odd nutter/blog poster.  This is day one and the scope of the the role is already creeping.  How long before it creeps further? 

    You are automatically assuming BDB the forumites who do this are going to misuse the role. Don't you think they actually deserve some benefit of the doubt they will know what to delete and which to leave?

  • kittenkat wrote (see)
    Little Ninja wrote (see)
    Badly Drawn Bloke wrote (see)

    My point is the functionality to remove a post/thread is the same regardless of what the content is.  And that is where abuse/mis-use can happen.  People on this thread are already talking about removing spam & the odd nutter/blog poster.  This is day one and the scope of the the role is already creeping.  How long before it creeps further? 

    You are automatically assuming BDB the forumites who do this are going to misuse the role. Don't you think they actually deserve some benefit of the doubt they will know what to delete and which to leave?

    I don't think it's their business to give a gentle warning, that's always going to be a subjective decision for people emotionally involved in the forum.

    Yes KK and I'd edited that because I realised they wouldn't be doing that and I'm sure these  are the posts that would be left.

    However if someone posts about their blog in 8 different sections as a new poster. right now, they tend to get a lot of abuse. I'm sure the new poster would probably prefer someone actually being nice and explaining what's causing people's reactions  image

  • Please...   this isn't about general user moderation of threads as such..  this is a discussion about dealing wth what is obviously spam attacks..   user mod for that will be a good step in the right direction..

    Any discussion about general user moderation and its pros and cons is for another time..

     

  • Dark Vader wrote (see)

    Please...   this isn't about general user moderation of threads as such..  this is a discussion about dealing wth what is obviously spam attacks..   user mod for that will be a good step in the right direction..

    Any discussion about general user moderation and its pros and cons is for another time..  

    In an ideal world DV that is all it will be, but RW needs to make things a bit clearer because people are already jumping to conclusions and the questions are going to be asked whether we like it or not.

     

  • "I don't think it's their business to give a gentle warning, that's always going to be a subjective decision for people emotionally involved in the forum."

    Eh? It's only a forum, about running. I can see how people could become involved in it and enjoy it and waste time on it, yes, but emotionally involved? Nah.

    All we're talking about is a few folk being trusted with some basic housekeeping. I think it's being over-analyzed.

  • Well said Muttley. Thats twice I've agreed with you now. image

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